What Exercises Are Recommended for Patients With a Weak Heart?


Quick Answer

Exercises recommended for patients with a weak heart include jumping rope, jogging, walking, water aerobics, biking and cross-country skiing, according to National Jewish Health. It's best that patients exercise for at least 20 minutes three or four times a week, or a total of 150 minutes per week.

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Full Answer

Patients with a weak heart should avoid performing too many isometric exercises that strain muscles against one another, such as sit-ups and pull-ups, notes National Jewish Health. Patients should also avoid exercising outside whenever it's too humid, hot or cold, because such conditions can interfere with circulation and breathing. Individuals should also be sure to stay well hydrated while exercising, without drinking too much water.

A person with a weak heart shouldn't exercise if he is recovering from an illness and should stop exercising when he is short of breath, states National Jewish Health. Exercises should also be stopped if the individual experiences an irregular or rapid heartbeat. After resting for 15 minutes due to an irregular or rapid heartbeat, a doctor should be called if the person's pulse still exceeds 120 beats per second.

While creating an exercise program, a patient with a weak heart should be sure to include a warm-up, a conditioning session and a cool-down, according to National Jewish Health. A patient should also check with his doctor before engaging in any type of exercise regime.

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